Tag Archives: art

The Art Institute of Chicago

We spent spring break week in Chicago looking at schools for my daughter and visiting family.  We also managed to do some other fun things and one of those was a visit to the Art Institute.

The Art Institute of Chicago is hands down one of my favorite museums on the planet.  It seems to have grown since the last time I was there in 1996.  There is absolutely no way to see the entire museum in one day.  Did I mention it’s immense?  Boy howdy.  We had only a few hours to see as much as we could before they closed, so we headed up the grand staircase and  we were greeted first with some Frank Lloyd Wright architectural remnants from torn down buildings.   There’s a nice Rodin sculpture just before you go in to see the Impressionists, the first of many rooms with impressionist paintings.  I think the Art Institute of Chicago may have the largest collection of impressionist art that I have seen.  There were full rooms of Monet and Renoir.  Heaven on earth for an impressionism fan.

We also visited the modern art wing and found more eye candy there.  Warhol and Picasso and Dali, oh my! And plenty of other interesting art that enriched me even more having seen them that day.  I was sad that we didn’t have time for the miniature rooms.  You just cannot see everything.  But we thoroughly enjoyed what we did see and I’m providing a snapshot in my gallery below for you to enjoy.  This museum is a must for art lovers. The collection is so vast and displays many types of art such that I think there is something for everyone here.  Click on any photo to start the gallery and enjoy!

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Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN

The Walker has a “free first Saturday” which is a great deal because one adult ticket is $12.  Oh, interesting current update. I went to their website to make sure it’s actually $12 and they’re having free admission until February 7.  Come in from the cold and see some art, says their site.  We might have to go back soon!

I didn’t see a whole lot of art that I liked on this visit but it was still fun to go and look. Plus, we stopped in at the new bar/cafe/bistro Esker Grove and had a yummy snack that I forgot to take a picture of.  Duh. We both had a beer and our snack was hummus toast and then we called it a day.  The Walker changes their displays frequently so it’s always fun to go back and see what’s on display every so often. Check out the Walker’s website for more information.  Please enjoy some photos from our visit earlier this month.

 

 

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Seeing Nature, Minneapolis Institute of Art

I just went through my phone to remove a bunch of photos because I got the nastygram from my phone that it was running out of space.  I happened upon the photos for this exhibit and wondered why I hadn’t put together a post for them. Then I realized that we saw this exhibit the weekend after our darling cat Fritz died.  We needed to get out of the house and this was the perfect thing to do.  This exhibit was at the Minneapolis Institute of Art for several months which included the day we went in August. I apologize up front for not having much information to share.  I have a brochure…..somewhere but I’m not sure where.  Instead of looking for it I thought I would just share the photos that I took.  We both enjoyed it immensely. We then had a nice lunch in the museum’s cafe, a perfect time to relax and chat about the art we had just seen. I hope you enjoy.

There was one painting by one of my favorite artists, Georgia O’Keefe along with a photo of her:

The view of downtown from inside the museum and the beautiful bright yellow glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly called Sunburst:

 

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My few hours in Washington D.C.

If you knew you would only have a few hours in our nation’s capital, how would you spend them?  I knew immediately what I wanted to do when I had that opportunity recently.  I lived in the D.C. area in the late 80s and I visited Washington D.C. several times during those years. The National Gallery of Art left such an impression on me that I knew I wanted to come back while I was in northern Virginia.  I was taking care of my elderly mother while my sister and her husband took a well deserved vacation. They are Mom’s usual care givers. My mother goes to an adult day care center during the day so I thought it would be best to keep her routine and that gave me the chance to have some fun while I was there. And it was a great day!  Even if it was just a few hours.

I had plans to meet Cathy of nomad, interrupted at the museum between 10:00 and 10:30. We met in the blogosphere and she had said to let her know if I was ever in town.  Traffic was awful that morning which caused me to be further delayed. I decided to park at the new Reston metro station because it was close to the day care center, about 10-15 minutes away.  The parking level I entered was full so I headed down to the next level and found many open spots but they all had this reserved sign above them: Reserved from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. By this time it was 9:57 so I parked and waited and called my friend to let her know I wasn’t even on the train yet :( It was another 5 minutes to get to the train and about 8 more minutes before the train left.  I did finally arrive in D.C.!!!  I called Cathy when I entered the museum and she showed up minutes later.  Finally we meet!

I remember that this gallery had a nice French impressionism collection and I wanted to be sure to see at least these paintings.  It’s also fun to go to a museum with others because you get their perspective and learn new things. Cathy picked up a brochure of some special items in the museum, and one was near the 7th Street entrance where I came in,  Degas’s Little Dancer sculpture.  I love Degas so this was a treat I wasn’t expecting. Bonus!  There were two that looked nearly identical in stance, one was made of plaster, the other of bronze. Click on an image to see a larger view.

Other fabulous works of art that we saw:

I loved all the Monet that I saw but these were my particular favorites. Notice the artist at work making a copy of one of them.

I loved the placement of this Whistler painting:

Other beautiful paintings in the French Impressionism section:

Other scenes from the museum:

The last two paintings are ones we stumbled upon as we were leaving to go find lunch.  They are by Goya, one of my favorite Spanish artists.

We had a fabulous lunch at Oyamel Cocina Mexicana just a couple of blocks from the museum.  Check out my post at the link about that experience!  After lunch it was about time for me to head back to take care of Mom.  It was a fun way to spend a few hours in D.C. and it was great to meet another blogger and world traveler there. Wonderful art, food and company.  You really can’t go wrong with that combination. I highly recommend this museum for art lovers. There is something for everyone here.

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Art a whirl!!

If you live in the twin cities, you must do Art a Whirl.  It is a blast!!  It’s held every third weekend in May in Northeast Minneapolis, rain or shine.  I have been at least one other time but I had no idea how big this thing really was .  Until today.  Miss M wanted to go with some friends and hubby’s band was playing in the afternoon. So I drove three teenagers to the fair.  They went their own way and I had two hours to explore on my own!  Oh, the fun.  It really was fun!

I googled Art a Whirl before heading out to the fair and happened upon this website chock full of information.  Apparently this has been going on for 20 years, unbeknownst to me.  Until today!  From this website I learned there are two information booths with directories of all the artists and where to find them.  So I headed towards one of them and saw interesting things along the way. I also learned to look for the large red circles.  When you see one that means there’s art inside.  I saw several on my walk to the information booth.  When I got there I heard one volunteer telling an art a whirler that the building just across the parking lot is a good place to start. So I took that advice and headed into the Grain Belt Bottling Building, which is an individually designated historic structure, thus dubbed by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Committee.  It’s a cool old building that is now being used for artists’ studios.  Wow, this place was incredible, both because of its size and the overwhelming amount of art contained within.  In the galleries below are just some of what I saw.  Click on any photo in any gallery to see larger images.

Since my head was full of art, I decided to take a break and headed back to the New City School where hubby’s band was going to play.  I sat on the steps of the school and checked out my artist directory a little more.  There were many venues all over Northeast Minneapolis, one of which was several blocks to the north.  After I had rested a bit,  I went off on another adventure.  This time it was through a residential neighborhood and I passed several nice gardens and plenty of things are blooming right now.  I did stop to smell the lilacs along the way.  My destination was the East Side Neighborhood Services building. They just happened to be celebrating 100 years of service in the area and there was a huge cake that visitors could enjoy.  Inside were 18 artists displaying their works.

Teenagers sitting on the climbing thing for smaller kids.  I also spotted several areas that had kids’ activities.  Fun for the whole family!

 

Finally, the band we came to see.  The Vorpel Swords sounded great and you could tell that they were really enjoying themselves. Makes for a fun show.

A really fun day and I barely scratched the surface!  And the weather cooperated too. It was about 75 degrees and mostly cloudy but it didn’t rain!  I realized at the end of the day that the free trolley takes you to just about all of the places that are displaying artworks.  Next year I’m taking the trolley to go see other buildings that I didn’t get to today.  What a great way to spend a nice, spring afternoon.  Highly recommended.  Just go. You’ll be glad you did.

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Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Every first Saturday of the month is “free first Saturday” at the Walker so we took advantage and traveled across the river to Minneapolis today.  When we first arrived in Minnesota and before we started working, we did some touristy things and that was the last time I was inside this museum.  That was 1992 so the time was past due to pay another visit.  We opted to skip the outdoor Sculpture Garden.  Perhaps you’ve seen the famous spoon and cherry sculpture?  The Walker is across the street from the sculpture garden.

spoon_cherry

Of course this is not what it looked like today.  I took the above photo in 2007 when we last visited the sculpture garden.  Although today’s temp was amenable to viewing the sculptures, we didn’t feel like tromping through the snow.

We parked in their underground lot and that was new to us as we’ve always found parking on the street.  If you can manage to get in and out in an hour it’s only $2.  And that’s about as long as the three of us lasted.  Art is something to be viewed in small doses. At least for me and my art viewing companions today.  It becomes sensory overload after that.  It was all three of us today and what a treat.  Hubby and I were talking about it and it piqued Miss M’s interest so she joined us.  Please enjoy my photo display of our small peek into this fine museum.

I guess these are sculptures? I’m not quite sure.  But here are Portable Keeper_Agassi,  Keeper_Squall and Portable Keeper_Bridal Born by Minouk Lim:

I really liked this piece of art and how the shadows are displayed on the wall:

Hubby and daughter were fascinated with this room.  Four tables with three turntables each and all turntables were playing records? Yowsa. It was a bit much for me so I went on ahead. I must have gone back three times and they were still in that room! I don’t recall the exhibit’s name but it was all from the 60s.  Hubby and Miss M changed one of the LPs in favor of Petula Clark.

It’s interesting what is considered art:

Museum scenes:

Another interesting room.  Included is a photo of the placard on the wall by an artist that goes along with the theme of the art displayed here.  There many of these notes by artists in several places:

Another artist’s curious piece that made Miss M sad:

I saved my favorite for the end: Ben’s Window.  Included is the placard that describes it.  Basically, the artist lived in a display window of a gallery in London for 15 days and became a work of art.  He also labeled everything.  Perhaps he got too bored?  There were some funny notes including “stop looking, you are too curious” and “the human sculpture needs sleep. Don’t wake me before 10”.

We barely scratched the surface as I mentioned, our brains were full so it was time to go.  We all decided we needed to go back to view the galleries that we didn’t get to.  If you’re in Minneapolis and enjoy modern art, do visit the Walker.  I have a hunch you’ll enjoy it.

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art car

We happened upon this interesting vehicle on our way home from the apple orchard.  It’s apple season and we have enough apples now for two pies, not that I’m going to make pie. I’m thinking baked apples perhaps.

Check out the art car, so stated on its bumper.  On top is a person who appears to be hanging onto the car so he doesn’t fall.  I wish I had kept my camera on when we passed because I didn’t get a photo of the front of the vehicle, which turns out to be an old pickup.  The person’s face is right above the windshield and it’s got this huge nose!! Ah well,  you can still get the gist of it.  Amazing the things we find when we’re observant :)

Here’s a couple photos of some mums at the apple orchard.

 

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